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Cause of Migraine Headache: 3 Vitamin Deficiencies You Need To Know About

Written by Holly Hazen


The exact cause of migraine headache is not yet known. The most recent theory suspects that they result from abnormal activity in the brain that affects the way nerves communicate... as well as the chemicals, transmitters and blood vessels in the brain.

Genetics can make you more sensitive to the triggers that can cause migraines.

Could your cause of migraine headache be triggered from a vitamin or mineral deficiency? Two common problem areas for us migraineurs are low magnesium and vitamin B2. Another one I urge you to consider is vitamin B12. Those are the three I will talk about a little later.

If you don't you know what causes your migraine headaches, you are not alone.



If you are one of the billions of headache sufferers out there in the United States, Australia, Europe and the United Kingdom, China, Asia… that don't know the cause of migraine headache, then consider these options to help reduce the frequency or intensity of your headaches.

At least you can work on reducing these as triggers...

How To Resolve A Deficiency

Most of these can be tested with a simple blood test from your doctor. Even if your ranges are normal, you could still experiment with them... make sure to work closely with your doctor on this.

Here are the top 3 vitamins to look into with your doctor.

#1. Fight Headaches Using Magnesium

A number of clinical studies support the use of magnesium in the treatment of migraines.

Magnesium gets used up with stress. Perhaps that is why we get deficient in the first place. I think it’s a bit like the chicken and the egg, as the migraines themselves are stressful so it becomes a vicious cycle.

You can get magnesium through food. Eat lots of these to get your daily dose:

  • Leafy greens, like cooked Spinach and Swiss chard (cook to absorb more of the magnesium)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Buckwheat flour and Bulgar being the highest sources
  • Bananas
  • Brown rice
  • Black beans

I choose to take this magnesium supplement. I have also had intravenous magnesium pushes for 18 months to help bring my levels back to normal.

#2. Vitamin B2 - Riboflavin

Vitamin B2 - Riboflavin is a well known natural remedy for migraines.

"Deficiency is connected to 50% of migraines." Christa Orecchio

I took Riboflavin for 18 months until my fingers turned yellow, and it had no effect on my migraines. That is not to say it will not work for you. It is so worth experimenting with because it has helped so many other sufferers.

Christa says to eat these foods to increase your vitamin B2:

  • Asparagus 
  • Crimini Mushrooms – all mushrooms do not hold the same nutritional value. So make sure you look for Crimini mushrooms.
  • Quinoa – top tip - soak it for one to three hours before you cook it you will get more bioavailable B2 out of it.

I'd like to add that Beef liver (2.9 mg in 3 oz) and lamb (3.9 mg in 3 oz) also provide a good source of B2.

#3. Vitamin B12

If you are B12 deficient, here are some symptoms:

According to WebMD (2019) if you have vitamin B12 deficiency, you could become anemic. A mild deficiency may cause no symptoms. But if untreated, it may lead to symptoms such as:

  • Weakness, tiredness, or lightheadedness
  • Heart palpitations and shortness of breath
  • Pale skin
  • A smooth tongue
  • Constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or gas
  • Nerve problems like numbness or tingling, muscle weakness, and problems walking
  • Vision loss
  • Mental problems like depression, memory loss, or behavioral changes [1]

To increase the amount of vitamin B12 in your diet, eat more of foods that contain it, such as:

  • Beef, liver, and chicken
  • Fish and shellfish such as trout, salmon, tuna fish, and clams
  • Low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese - if you can tolerate dairy that is
  • Eggs - preferably organic

What Else Can You Do?

Take a closer look at gluten...

Treat Food Sensitivities. A main cause of migraine headaches can be due to food sensitivities and allergies. So, it is important to get tested and avoid these foods.

Most doctors will recommend doing a food elimination diet through your local hospital, with a dietitian. There are other options.

The dietitian at the hospital gave me a little booklet of instructions and told me to keep a food diary. It took me over four years to go through this method. She never talked about different combinations of food and I could only see her twice a year.

Christa says that eggs and gluten are the most common foods that she has found to cause headaches in certain individuals.

She removes these from the diet and gets good results.

Well, better than good - their migraines go away!

But please be aware, eggs and gluten would be the trigger to the cause of migraine headache only if you're sensitive to it.

Eliminating them completely would help you determine this.

Learn about proper hydration

The main cause of migraine headache in the ER is dehydration.

If you have headaches from dehydration, you can fix them in fifteen minutes! Here’s how:

Drink lots of mineralized water as soon as you feel the migraine coming on. The general rule is to drink 1 liter of water or 34 ounces for every 50 pounds (22.67 kilograms) of body weight. This rule is for filtered water to be sipped on through the day.

But the recommendation here is mineralized water. You can drink up to a liter at the sign of an attack, and see how that feels.

You can add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice if you want to support your liver and help flush out toxins. I find if I do this it actually brings on a migraine, so I have experimented with grapefruit juice, and lime juice instead. They don't cause a reaction for me.

Dandelion root tea is another good liver detoxifier and can replace other teas for a regular cuppa. But I also trigger with this - so experiment with these things to find what works for you.

My doctor recommends coconut water which replaces electrolytes almost instantly. But I find it a bit sweet, so I just mix it with water.

Water infused with fresh strawberries and slices of cucumber make it really refreshing and re-hydrating.

Cause of Migraine Headache Rehydration Recipe for Coconut Water


Leave the strawberries, cucumber and mint in the filtered water or mineral water overnight and add to coconut water when you are ready to drink it. Let the flavors infuse into the water.


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Until next time, be well and be pain free.




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Cause of Migraine Headache Reference:
WebMD (2019) Vitamin B12: What to Know. Available [online] at: https://www.webmd.com/diet/vitamin-b12-deficiency-symptoms-causes#1


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